Presented at the opening of Play it by Ear

Jenny Haughton


At 3.15 on Thursday 27th August I sit in the People’s Park taking in the sun, and somewhere beyond the facing hedge the mower drones then stops. Children’s voices speckle the air. Trees begin to rustle. People walk by talking but I only hear the occasional crunch under their footsteps. Another machine sound starts up across the park. Is it there, or is it in my ear? Nearby a three wheeler bike trundles across the tarmacadam past the bandstand. IT looks silent. The mower starts up again. And the pneumatic drill. Somehow I detect that the mower is close now,..then it passes by off into the distance as noise pixilation. Sounds of leaves blow and shake and honey the air. Because of them I see the wind. Two young boys climb the nearby cannon, itself warmed by the sun. ’Now we are driving!’ I hear as their bellies hug the barrel. Sitting back to back they shout ‘Boooo,….Booo’. Alert, I strain to hear more but the wind has died or turned direction. To experience and listen better I close my eyes. ‘Master Dragon’, ‘Hold on Tight’, ‘Rrrrrr’, ‘Going really fast’ I hear from cannon before the two boys slip off and scamper. Now, I hear voices from all directions. Bits of shouts echo off the urban surround. As I turn to go I instinctively snap off a rosebud and then wonder at the opening of a flower and the explosion that is micro sonic. Welcome to the zonic world.